Kayce completed a B.S. and M.S. in Biology at Idaho State University and Ph.D. in Biology at the University of New Mexico. Throughout her career she has studied diversity and biogeography of mammals and their parasites. Her master's research was on genetic diversity and relationships between two desert dwelling ground squirrels, the Mohave ground squirrel and round-tailed ground squirrel. Between her M.S. and Ph.D., she worked at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science on a chipmunk research project studying the relationships among chipmunk species and hybridization between species. For her dissertation work she used genetic data to compare genetic relationships and distributions of chipmunks and their parasitic lice and roundworms. Kayce completed a Peter Buck post-doctoral fellowship at the National Museum of Natural History, where she worked on the genomic diversity of the roundworms that infect chipmunks. She is continuing to investigate chipmunk and parasite diversity, while expanding her research to include urban mammals and their parasites.